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Posts Tagged ‘car road trips’

American highways are remarkably free from roadkill! Yesterday we drove 934 miles and I don’t remember seeing anything dead on the road at all. Did you know that most of the roadkill in Australia are kangaroos! And you see a  lot. In fact, many people have those big cowcatchers—I don’t know what else to call them—on the front of their vehicles because hitting roos on the roads is so common.

You’ll remember from yesterday that Sherrylee and I decided at the last minute to drive to California to help with an LST YoungFriends project at the North County Church of Christ in Escondido, just north of San Diego. You can read about the first 446 miles in yesterday’s posting—but you can start here also. The great thing about journeys is that they have an official starting place, of course, but today’s start is just as much of a start as yesterday’s start.  There must be a sermon there somewhere!

After a quick stop at the ubiquitous Wal-Mart in Pecos, Texas, we got on the road again. Sherry enjoys reading aloud while I drive, so she suggested reading the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church. Yes, we are pretty weird, but don’t worry, we balanced it with a Robert Ludlum novel later in the day.

We have been reading and talking about Roman Catholicism for some time, since her brother recently became a Catholic priest.  Yesterday, most of our reading and conversation was on sacramentalism, but that is a topic for another blog.

The amazing thing about driving in Texas is that when you get to El Paso, your halfway to California. Of course you have to speed past the sand dunes in Monahans, the Davis Mountains and Fort Davis, McDonald Observatory near Alpine, and the many great Tex-Mex restaurants along the way or you will just turn around and say, “Why would I ever want to leave Texas!!”

The only thing I really found interesting in New Mexico was driving through Lordsburg.  Who knows what classic journey film has Lordsburg as the stagecoach’s final destination?

Now Arizona has Tombstone and Yuma, but we missed the 3:10 train. I forgot about the time zone change! We didn’t stop, but if we go back that way, I’m planning to try to stop and sightsee.

At some stop, we balanced our morning catechesis with an audiobook from Cracker Barrel (where else?) called The Bourne Deception—the full 17.5 hour/15 disc version. Pretty good deal for $3.50!  It was so good that we skipped supper. Our only interruptions were the Border Patrol control points—something we had never seen before.

The Board Patrol check Points reminded me of the Arizona controversy. We were waved through easily, but I couldn’t help but think about it being a different story if we had been Latino—either of us.  I’m all for controlling our borders better to prevent illegal aliens from entering, but if you have ever been a foreigner in a foreign country (stranger in a strange land is the biblical phrase) and been discriminated against, you would know how humiliating and offensive any form of profiling or discrimination is.

When Sherrylee and I lived in Germany and were looking for an apartment, we would occasionally call about one that looked great to us, only to be hung up on because we were aliens with an accent. That was almost as bad as the people who used the less formal language forms when talking to us as if we were either children or stupid. Well, you can see that I am sympathetic with aliens from my own experience of being one.

You have time to think about many things on a road trip!

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Sherrylee and I love road trips!  I’m talking about where you throw stuff in the car, take off, and drive for hours and hours.  In this day of instant gratification, which includes getting to places quickly from wherever we are, road trips seem a thing of the past, but since I’m writing this in the breakfast room of a Holiday Inn Express in Pecos, Texas—8 hours from Fort Worth and 12 hours from Escondido, CA.—I want to tell you about ours, so you can see what you think.

Yesterday about 11am, we decided that I needed to go to Escondido, where LST is sending a YoungFriends group from Dallas for a week-long mission trip. We sometimes do this to simply provide a little help to both the group sponsor and the hosting church. Since our daughter Emily and her family are in Escondido, Sherry wanted to go too, but have you looked at last minute ticket prices lately! She suggested that we leave right away and drive—1394 miles—19+hours!  In less than 10 minutes, we had decided to do it—so we agreed to leave at 2pm.

She went to the Hair Cabin for whatever, and I tied up stuff at the office, then stopped the mail for 10 days, ate lunch with the staff, and went home to pack.  Packing for road trips is soooooo easy because you don’t have to worry about weight, you don’t have to worry about how many ounces of liquid, you can take your good shoes, your running shoes, AND your flipflops—and they don’t even have to go in the suitcase. The best of all is being able to hang your clothes in the backseat. What a luxury!

We were almost giddy as we drove out of the city right before rush-hour traffic—about 3:30, not 2pm—but that’s OK.  The first thing we did was play the alphabet game. What—you’ve never played. You have to find all the letters in proper sequence, call out the word that contains the letter—which means your opponent can’t use that letter in that word—and you can’t look backwards!  Oh, yes, and it has to be on a sign, not anything moving.  Sherry and I are fierce competitors, so I will confess to one tense moment when we both saw the J in Justin Boots at the same time. I think I really beat her, but it was so early in the trip, we agreed to both claim it as a tie—any sacrifice for matrimonial harmony!  Ultimately my generosity paid off because I found the Z in pizza just outside of Abilene and won.  We’ll see what happens today!

And we always stop at Crackerbarrel restaurants on road trips—mostly because of all the fun things you can do there!  First, you can walk around and say, “Who do you think would buy something like that?” Then we look at the pictures on the wall and see if any of our forefathers are memorialized in their antique pictures—well, those pictures are of somebody’s people!! Don’t laugh.  Then we always try to beat the little triangle peg game that they put on each table.  Sherry was obsessed yesterday, so I cheated and found a clue on the internet about where to start that let both of us beat it once—but then we couldn’t repeat, so I bought her one to bring on the trip as we left. Oops, now I know who buys that stuff!!

Don’t forget to go to the bathroom at Crackerbarrel—except be careful. In nine out of ten Crackerbarrels, the men’s room is on the left and the women’s on the right, which only sets us Stammkunden up for an embarrassing moment if we ever walk into the exception! I’ve done it several times, I confess.

Next we listened to 4-5 episodes of Garrison Keillor’s Stories from Lake Wobegon podcasts off the ITouch that my kids gave me several years ago! What great kids. We tried listening to Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which I had downloaded for free a couple of months ago. It was a little heavy for the mood yesterday, but it might work today.  If not, we’ll stop at the next Crackerbarrel and rent an audiobook on CD—see why we always go there!

We pulled into Pecos, Texas about 11:15 last night, couldn’t find the hotel, drove around until we found something open where we could ask. Soon we were in our room—but the toilet was broken—so then we were in another room, tired, but glad we were on the road—together!

I wonder what today will bring?

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